Hendrick also disputes Intel's claims that hard drive backups won't be affected. If you try to back up CPRM content to an unsecure drive, you'd lose access to that content because your second drive can't read the CPRM encryption. You might need new utilities even for backups between compliant drives. The software also needs to recognize CPRM to properly manage the content.
Intel's suggestion that you can download CPRM content to a non-CPRM hard drive is also incorrect, Hendrick contends. Although you could theoretically perform the transfer, you wouldn't be able to access the content on that PC. That material would have to pass directly into a CPRM-ready device and media to work, bypassing the noncomplaint hard drive, he says. That's the value of the system to content owners.
CPRM satisfies the "paranoia" of people who want to sell movies and music but don't want to cede control of it, Hendrick says. "The Hollywood sewer wants to protects its content."
Dave Reinsel, senior analyst for hard disc drives at IDC, offers a less disdainful view of the technology.
"The sooner content protection gets here, the sooner they [the record companies] will start providing content," he says. "They won't allow free distribution."
If consumers want to download this digital content, they'll need a drive that accommodates this protection, Reinsel says. Someday, content download may not be possible without protection.
Consumers may not be happy with the copy-protection scheme; the only benefit for them would be the capability to download this protected content and they may not care about getting such content.
T13 member Hendrick says that's why people must be able to disable the CPRM feature, as he sugggests to the committee. "If people can turn it off, then they can choose," he says.
"The announcement that you can shut it off doesn't address the issue," says Brad Templeton, chairman of the board for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which monitors free-speech and privacy issues on the Internet.
Sure, you might be able to turn it off, but if over time all new songs are CPRM-enabled, you won't be able to download and access them and play them off your disabled drive, he says.
Templeton says he suspects at first all hard drives and software music players will continue to play all songs, even those with CPRM. But in a few years, when most computers have the CPRM-ready hard drives, the content owners could change the rules, only allowing secured music to work.